It used to be so predictable. A certain brand would have a flash boutique on Rue La La and a few weeks later, the merchandise would show up on Smart Bargains, usually at a similar or slightly lower price than Rue La La. Unlike Rue La La, Smart Bargains is not a members only site and is open to everyone.
So now that paradigm is changing. I don't know about you, but I have noticed a huge change in Rue La La within the past month or so. Although certain brands are featured in a dedicated boutique with only that brand; more and more the trend is shifting to boutiques with multiple brands. Usually the boutique has a catchy name associated with a current trend, season, or event. I saw one yesterday for Oscar night. Here's one that has dresses...Frock On!
Then of course, there's the Sunday Night Styleathon. This is a catch all boutique for things that have not sold out during a flash sale. Items often sell out very quickly, which leads me to think that they were available in limited quantities at the beginning of the sale. Some items are available in very limited sizes; for example I spied a Vineyard Vines jacket last night that was only available in a size 2, 4, or 10.
So what does mean for you, conscious consumer for all things chic? Well, there's some good news and some bad news. You'll be able to see some of your favorite brands on Rue La La on a more regular basis; you'll just have to search through every boutique to find them...quickly! With Rue La La's 30 days of free shipping, it's easy to click the purchase button if you know that the shipping is free.
What's the bad news? With Smart Bargains, you had time to ponder your purchase. With Rue La La's flash sale format and limited quantities, you will need to make a purchasing decision within seconds of seeing the item. Although it may seem like everyone is a member of Rue La La, the site does require you to sign in and join. People could browse Smart Bargains, but may not want to join Rue La La. I'll never forget one such experience. My cousin's wedding china pattern was on RLL for a steal so my mother told my aunt about it and sent her an invite. She never joined (or got the china) because she didn't want to be on another mailing list or join another site.
Some catch all boutiques this week include Spring Awakening: Breezy Dresses, Doing A Little Good: A Curated Boutique by Busy Philipps, and Off Road Adventures. Wonder if any of my favorite designers will be included in any of those?
What do you think about the closing of Smart Bargains? Do you like a site that is open to anyone or do you prefer a flash sale?